Jesus once said, "Whoever drinks of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty." So why are Christians still thirsty? We throw ourselves into church work, Bible studies, prayer, missions, fellowship. Yet still we search restlessly for something more. What are we missing?Perhaps the answer is, more of Jesus. Church meetings and programs, ministry, Christian counseling, and home groups are all good, but they are not him. It doesn't matter how devoted we are to these wonderful activities; they are not the same thing as communion with Jesus. Our souls crave him alone.In Sacred Thirst, author and pastor Craig Barnes brings us face-to-face with our desperate longing for God. Like the woman at the well, we have tried to satisfy our parched souls with so many other thingseven religious things. But when we get to the bottom of our desire, we find Jesus quietly waiting with his living waterintimatecommunion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.This book is filled with unique insights into human experience and the character of God. With his keen understanding of the needs of contemporary Christians, Barnes points to the only way our thirst will ever be satisfied. Drawing from his rich background in the Bible and his tender insights as a pastor, he leads us into a new understanding ofourselves and the uncontrollable but gracious God we seek.
M. Craig Barnes is pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His previous books are Yearning, Hustling God, and When God Interrupts.
In this deep, inspiring book, Barnes plays with biblical images of deserts,
flowing streams and living waters, applying them to contemporary life. He says
that he wrote the book especially for Christians who find themselves in a
spiritual desert with a sense of "soul sadness" or spiritual loneliness, having
lost the astonishment and joy of their faith. Barnes, senior pastor of National
Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., notes that in the Old and New
Testaments, characters from the patriarchs to Jesus used such desert
experiences as metaphors for pilgrimage toward God. Today's Christians can use
their spiritual deserts toward that same end, seeking God's flowing streams of
mercy to sustain and refresh them as they journey to the Promised Land. Barnes
cautions that often Christians mistake their intellectual knowledge, prayers,
church attendance and good works as replacements for God; he claims that making
idols of these activities creates a sense of dissatisfaction and a longing for
more. Often Christians settle for the desert, but Barnes says that "sacred
thirst" can call them from barren spirituality to embrace the holy joy of God.
Just as Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that he could give her
living waters and she would never thirst, so he promises contemporary followers
that the Holy Spirit is the living water that restores parched souls. Barnes's
powerful and beautifully written book is a balm to the weary pilgrim. (Jan.)
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